Jeff Sagarin Loves Him Some Florida State

I have been keeping tabs on Jeff Sagarin's weekly NCAA college football rankings through the first three weeks of the season, to get a better sense of how the Eagles stack up to one of the few computer rankings used in the BCS standings. Using a combination of the Elo Chess and the Pure Points ratings, you can simulate the Eagles' remaining 10 games. 

This week, Sagarin's computer rankings have the Eagles finishing the season 8-4 (4-4 ACC), with losses to Virginia Tech, N.C. State, Florida State and -- surprisingly -- Virginia. This is up one win from the first two weeks of the season. After weeks 1 and 2, Sagarin's rankings had the Eagles at 7-5.

Here's how Sagarin's computer rankings predict the Eagles will finish the season:

Rating Opponent Result
79.17 Virginia Tech Loss
73.85 Notre Dame Win
78.73 at N.C. State Loss
83.56 at Florida State  Loss
75.74 Maryland Win
72.95 Clemson Win
71.07 at Wake Forest Win
66.33 at Duke Win
79.65 Virginia Loss
67.37 at Syracuse Win


Can't complain too much about this prediction, though I think as N.C. State starts to drop games, you might see that result flip back to a win. Same with the Cavaliers. At the very least, the Eagles should close the gap with the Wolfpack by putting in better performances than their weeks 1 and 2 performances against Weber State and Kent State.

I think what's more surprising is how well Florida State looks to computers through the first three weeks. FSU is currently the highest ranked ACC team with a rating of 83.56 (good for 17th), followed by Virginia at 26. In fact, Sagarin predicts the Seminoles will get through the ACC portion of their schedule with an unblemished 8-0 record.

Through three weeks, here is the 2010 ACC Atlantic and Coastal Division race as predicted by the Sagarin ratings.

Atlantic W L W L Coastal W L W L
Florida State 8 0 10 2 Georgia Tech 7 1 9 3
N.C. State 6 2 9 3 Virginia Tech 6 2 8 4
Boston College 4 4 8 4 Virginia 5 3 8 4
Maryland 3 5 6 6 Miami 5 3 7 5
Wake Forest 2 6 5 7 North Carolina 2 6 4 8
Clemson 1 7 3 9 Duke 0 8 2 10


Well, I take that back. After looking at this, I can't decide what's more surprising. The fact that Sagarin loves the Seminoles and has them coasting to a perfect ACC regular season regular (something that hasn't been accomplished since the ACC expanded to 12 teams) or the complete and utter meltdown that the predictor has for Clemson at 3-9 (1-7 ACC). Clearly, the Tigers haven't impressed these computer rankings to date. Combine that with a brutal schedule and after week 3, you wind up with a 3-9 record.

Luckily for the Tigers, and for BC, games aren't played on paper.

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